New Pompeii remains reveal final moments of people trying to escape horrifying volcano
The eruption of Italy’s Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD decimated the surrounding area including well-established settlements Pompeii and Herculaneum. Uncovered by archaeologists generations later, the cities are a macabre time capsule conveying everything from ancient street electioneering and living habits, to the final moments of citizens as superhot tephra and lava closed in.
A new discovery has shed further light on how people reacted as everything around them was laid to ruin by Vesuvius. According to the Pompeii Archaeological Park, which protected by a special unit of Italy’s Carabinieri military police, bones belonging to at least six people were recently excavated in a “garden house”.
It’s thought the group, perhaps a family, cowered inside the small house in an attempt to gain shelter from fiery rocks and toxic gas that was being showered on the city. However, the dwelling was no match for mother nature’s fury and the house eventually collapsed killing everyone inside. The bones are thought to belong to women and a group of children, reported Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper.
“The Pompeians had sought refuge in the innermost room of the house, which, unlike the others, had resisted the first phase of the eruption,” a spokesperson for the excavation said. “They were then caught by one of the pyroclastic currents that overwhelmed the rooms of the house, causing the collapse of the roof and the upper part of the north wall.”
The close proximity of the bodies to each suggests the people gathered to comfort one another in their final moments.
“You always find them together. This is what you do, when hell breaks loose,” said archaeologist Miko Flohr, who wrote a paper on the human response to the disaster at Pompeii. “You stick with the ones you love. Often longer than is good for you.”
You always find them together. This is what you do, when hell breaks loose: you stick with the one's you love. Often, longer than is good for you. https://t.co/cPzzsbZ9LI— Miko Flohr (@mikofLohr) October 24, 2018
In a twist to the incredible find, archaeologists found tunnels nearby meaning the location may have been previously uncovered prior to the first known dig at Pompeii in the 1740s.
It means grave robbers or maybe Roman excavators may have reached the scene first. Pompeii’s unique environment continues to offer up historical insights. Earlier this year conservationists released images of more political graffiti, as well as the tragic remains of a man crushed by a massive volcanic rock.
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